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FLArmenians 2020 Election Endorsements

FLArmenians.com is pleased to announce our 2020 election endorsements in Florida.

PRESIDENT:

  • Joe Biden & Kamala Harris (D)

Whether viewing the President’s record and tenure in office solely through an American or Armenian American lens, one would arrive at the same conclusion: he does not deserve reelection. From an Armenian American standpoint, Donald Trump never promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide so when he used practically the same exact language as President Obama in his annual April 24th statement there was little expectation that Trump would be any different than Obama.

However, what is most troubling to Armenian Americans at this point in time is how the Trump Administration broke over two decades of precedent when he increased military aid to Azerbaijan over that of Armenia. For nearly 20 years, the Armenian American community has been successful in ensuring that Congress, and to some extent the President, maintain parity when it comes to U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan and Armenia. However, the Trump Administration has “substantially ramped up security assistance to Azerbaijan, amounting to more than $100 million in fiscal years (FY) 2018-19,” according to an analysis by Emil Sanamyan of University of Southern California. “By comparison U.S. security aid to Azerbaijan in FY 2016-17 did not exceed $3 million a year,” he writes.

So far President Trump has resisted efforts to sanction Azerbaijan and withhold U.S. military aid to that country.

Joe Biden, on the other hand, has a substantial record of pro-Armenian positions from his early days to today. First and foremost, students of history will recall that in 1989, Joe Biden, as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, brought forward S. J. Res. 212, the Armenian Genocide resolution. Biden, as Chairman and as an original cosponsor of the bill, brought the bill forward and held a successful markup, sending the bill to the Senate floor for a vote. What is significant here is that Senator Biden was under tremendous pressure not to bring the bill forward, but he did so anyway because he knew it was the right thing to do. Furthermore, in 1989 Armenian American advocacy was in its infancy. Modern day genocide resolutions are “sense of the House” resolutions, that have no legal binding and are not signed by the President. Back in 1989, the Armenian Genocide resolution was introduced as a “joint resolution” requiring passage in both chambers and the signature of the President. Then-Senator Joe Biden, as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, presided over the first time in the history of the U.S. Senate where an Armenian Genocide resolution was discussed and adopted.

Fast forward to Vice President Joe Biden, who seems to have taken a lot of blame for Obama’s broken campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide. While that stain on Obama’s presidency remains indefinitely, it was at the end of the day President Obama’s decision, not Vice President Biden’s. Nobody knows for sure who said what in the Oval Office when Obama, Biden, Samantha Power, Susan Rice, and others were in the room. We all know the outcome but to lay that at Biden’s feet now reflects a feeble minded understanding of American politics.

Vice President Joe Biden’s present-day positions are noteworthy. He was unequivocal on his April 24, 2020 statement on the Armenian Genocide, where he used the Armenian words Medz Yeghern and was unafraid to use the English equivalent: Armenian Genocide. Furthermore, Biden released two statements on the current Azerbaijan and Turkish war crimes launched against Artsakh (formerly Nagorno Karabakh) and Armenia. The first was on October 13, following the first ceasefire agreement violation by Azerbaijan. The second came on October 28 where Biden called for enforcing sanctions on Azerbaijan under Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act, which has been waived by every President since the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks. In the October 28 statement, Biden also acknowledged Turkey smuggling Syrian mercenaries into the conflict.

President Trump and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien have been asked repeatedly since Azerbaijan first launched their attack on Artsakh on September 27th to enforce the sanctions regime on Azerbaijan currently U.S. law. O’Brien even recently admitted that Azerbaijan was the party uninterested in peace. Yet, the Trump Administration refuses to comment on enforcing sanctions on Azerbaijan.

The choice for President, from an American and especially through the Armenian American lens, cannot be any more clear. A vote for Trump is a vote for Aliyev and Erdogan, who will continue to get away with their crimes against humanity so long as Donald Trump is President.

As we said in an interview with The Hill newspaper, “Preserving the Armenian state is going to be paramount and right now, I think you can make the case very easily that the Armenian homeland is being threatened with another genocide. I think this is going to be the most important issue for Armenian Americans going into November.”

PALM BEACH COUNTY

CONGRESS

  • FL-18: No Endorsement
  • FL-20: Gregg Musslewhite (R-FL)
  • FL-21 : Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL)
  • FL-22: Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL)*

STATE SENATE

  • SD-25: Gayle Harrell (R)
  • SD-29: Brian Norton (R)
  • SD-30: Bobby Powell (D)
  • SD-31: Lori Berman (D)

STATE HOUSE

  • HD-81: Kelly Skidmore (D)
  • HD-82: Mary Lynn Magar (R)
  • HD-85: Rick Roth (R)
  • HD-86: Matt Whilhite (D)
  • HD-87: David Silvers (D)
  • HD-88: Omari Hardy (D)
  • HD-89: Mike Caruso (R)
  • HD-90: Joe Casello (D)
  • HD-91: Emily Slosberg (D)

PALM BEACH BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

  • District 1: Maria Marino (R)
  • District 3: David Kerner (D)
  • District 5: David Shiner (R)
  • District 7: Mack Bernard (D)

SHERIFF & TAX COLLECTOR

  • Ric Bradshaw (D)
  • Anne Gannon (D)

CLERK & COMPTROLLER

  • Joseph Abruzzo

PALM BEACH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE GROUP 30 (NON-PARTISAN)

  • Adam Myron

PORT OF PALM BEACH

  • Group 1: Wayne Richards
  • Group 2: Katherine Waldron
  • Group 3: Jean Enright

SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION

  • Group 2: Ann Marie Sorrell
  • Group 3: Chad Alvarez
  • Group 4: Rob Long

BROWARD COUNTY

CONGRESS

  • FL-23: Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL)
  • FL-24: Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

STATE SENATE

  • SD-32: Sen. Lauren Book (D-FL)
  • SD-33: Sen. Perry Thurston, Jr. (D-FL)
  • SD-34: Sen. Gary Farmer, Jr. (D-FL)

STATE HOUSE

  • HD-92: Patricia Hawkins-Williams (D-FL)
  • HD-93: Rep. Chip LaMarca (R-FL)
  • HD-94: Rep. Bobby DuBose (D-FL)
  • HD-95: Rep. Anika Tene Omphroy (D-FL)
  • HD-96: Christine Hunschofsky (D)
  • HD-97: Rep. Dan Daley (D-FL)
  • HD-98: Rep. Michael Gottlieb (D-FL)
  • HD-99: Rep. Evan Jenne (D-FL)
  • HD-100: Joe Geller (D)
  • HD-101: Rep. Marie Woodson (D-FL)

COUNTY COMMISSION

  • District 1: Nan Rich (D-FL)
  • District 3: Michael Udine (D-FL)
  • District 5: Steven Geller (D-FL)
  • District 7: Tim Ryan (D-FL)
  • District 9: Dale Holness (D-FL)

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

CONGRESS

  • FL-25: Rep. Mario Diaz-Bolart (R-FL)
  • FL-26: Carlos Gimenez (R)
  • FL-27: Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL)

STATE SENATE

  • SD-35: Sen. Shevrin Jones (D-FL)
  • SD-37: Sen. Jose Javier Fernandez (R-FL)
  • SD-39: Javier Fernandez (D)

STATE HOUSE

  • HD-102: Felicia Simone-Robinson (D)
  • HD-103: Rep. Cindy Polo (D-FL)
  • HD-104: Robin Bartleman (D)
  • HD-105: Maureen Porras (D)
  • HD-108: Rep. Dotie Joseph (D-FL)
  • HD-110: Annette Collazo (D)
  • HD-111: Rep. Bryan Avila (R-FL)
  • HD-112: Rep. Nicholas Duran (D-FL)
  • HD-113: Demi Busatta Cabrera (D)
  • HD-115: Rep. Vance Aloupis (R-FL)
  • HD-116: Rep. Daniel Perez (R-FL)
  • HD-118: Rickey Junquera (D)
  • HD-119: Juan Fernandez-Barquin (R)
  • HD-120: Rep. James Mooney (R-FL)

COUNTY COMMISSION

  • Mayor: Esteban “Steve” Bovo
  • District 1: Oliver Gilbert
  • District 3: Keon Hardemon
  • District 5: Eileen Higgins
  • District 7: Raquel Regalado
  • District 9: Kionne McGhee
  • District 11: Joe Martinez
  • District 13: Rene Garcia

OTHER CONGRESSIONAL RACES

CONGRESS

  • FL-01: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
  • FL-02: Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL)
  • FL-03: Kat Cammack (R)
  • FL-04: Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL)
  • FL-05: Rep. Al Lawson (D-FL)
  • FL-06: Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL)
  • FL-07: Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
  • FL-08: Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
  • FL-09: Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL)
  • FL-10: Rep. Val Demings (D-FL)
  • FL-11: Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL)
  • FL-12: Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)**
  • FL-13: Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL)*
  • FL-14: Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL)
  • FL-15: Scott Franklin (R)
  • FL-16: Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
  • FL-17: Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL)
  • FL-19: Byron Donalds (R)

*Member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues

**Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues

Recognize Artsakh Peaceful Protest Planned in Miami Beach

Disclaimer: This event is not sponsored by any South Florida Armenian American community organizations. All donations made to help the people of Armenia and Artsakh, by order of the Diaspora Commissioner, should be directed to ArmeniaFund.org or himnadram.org.

Mark Samuelian Elected Miami Beach City Commissioner

On Tuesday night, Mark Samuelian became the first Armenian American elected official in Miami-Dade County history.

MIAMI BEACH, FL –On Tuesday night, Mark Samuelian won his race for the Miami Beach City Commission. With all precincts reporting, Samuelian received 7,535 votes out of a total of 11,111 votes cast, or 67.82%. He is the first Armenian American to hold public office in Miami-Dade County.

In a wild race that once had five people vying for the Group II seat, Mark Samuelian stayed above the fray throughout the campaign. He ran a clean, professional, and solid grassroots campaign, and he kept working until the very end, despite his opponents’ woes.

Miami Beach Commissioner-Elect Mark Samuelian and Florida Armenians Editor Taniel Koushakjian on Election Night, Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

Surrounded by family, friends, and supporters at the Betsy Hotel in South Beach, Samuelian shared the big news to a long and celebratory applause. In his victory speech, he outlined his governing principles and campaign priorities. He reiterated his vow to work hard to ensure his policies are adopted and that residents are well represented on the commission.

In addition to Samuelian, two other FLArmenians.com endorsed candidates won their races. Dan Gelber was elected Miami Beach Mayor with 82.38%, and Michael Gongora was elected to the Miami Beach Commission Group III seat with 64.81%.

“Florida Armenians congratulate all the winners in Miami Beach and throughout Miami-Dade County,” stated Florida Armenians Editor Taniel Koushakjian. “We are especially proud of Mark Samuelian on his historic, and resounding victory. I expect there to be many more Armenian Americans holding public office in Florida in the years to come,” Koushakjian said.